The New Jim Crow…Just like the Old Jim Crow, only sneakier.
The New Jim Crow…Just like the Old Jim Crow, only sneakier.
If you are wondering about the sort of America the alt-right and Trumpazoids would put in place – look no further than Louisiana’s new Jim Crow Marriage law.
New Iberia, La.
For an illustration of how cruel the country’s latest wave of nativism has grown, look to Louisiana.
Here, a little-noticed new state law has effectively made it illegal for thousands of refugees to get married.
It all started last year. Having lost the fight over gay marriage, the state’s religious right decided that the sacred institution of wedlock was once again under attack — this time, by devious immigrants. Undocumented workers and even terrorists had newly discovered they could exploit Louisiana’s marriage laws to gain citizenship, legislators claimed, leading to a supposed epidemic of “marriage fraud.”
The response? Make it more difficult for immigrants to get married, of course.
So, as of this year, any foreign-born person wanting to get married in Louisiana must produce both an unexpired visa (even though a federal court has ruled that marriage licenses cannot be denied based on immigration status), as well as, somewhat inexplicably, a birth certificate.
No birth certificate, no marriage, no excuses.
The law has indeed placed marriage off-limits to immigrants in the country illegally, as intended. But it’s hurt plenty of legal immigrants, too. Louisiana is home to thousands of refugees, predominantly Vietnamese and Laotians who received asylum in the 1970s and 1980s after fleeing war and communism in their homelands.
Today these Louisianans often have green cards and even U.S. citizenship, but no access to their original birth documents, if such documents even exist.
The law received little attention when it went into effect in January. Which means people such as Out Xanamane often learn about it only when they get turned away at the courthouse.
Xanamane was born in a village near Savannakhet, Laos, in 1975, the year the country fell to communism. Born at home, he never received a birth certificate.
He remembers little of his early childhood, except that there were bombs and land mines everywhere. In the decade before his birth, the U.S. military dropped 2 million tons of explosives on the tiny nation, making the country one of the most heavily bombed per capita in history.
Xanamane’s family arrived in Louisiana in 1986, after spending time in refugee camps in Thailand and the Philippines. He has lived in the United States ever since and is now a U.S. permanent resident in the process of applying for citizenship.
It wasn’t until he got sick this summer that his lack of birth certificate was ever an issue.
In July, he was diagnosed with liver cancer, the same illness that claimed his brother’s life two years ago. The diagnosis meant a lot of changes for his family, the most pressing of which was he really, really needed the state to recognize his marriage.
Xanamane and his significant other, U.S.-born citizen Marilyn Cheng, were married in a Buddhist temple in 1997. But like many in the local Laotian community, they never sought an official marriage license, and never felt they needed to. They have called each other “husband” and “wife” for two decades, have four children and assumed they probably had a common-law marriage at the very least.
They didn’t; Louisiana doesn’t recognize common-law marriage.
The couple discovered this when Cheng’s employer, under whose health-insurance plan Xanamane was covered for the past two years, abruptly asked for a copy of their marriage license after bills for his cancer treatments came in. Suddenly all the marriage-related legal protections they’d taken for granted — health coverage, hospital visitation rights, Social Security survivor benefits — vanished.
Within days they went to the courthouse, armed with Xanamane’s green card, refugee documents and driver’s license. Twice they were turned away.
“They told me I have to go back to Laos and get my birth certificate,” said Xanamane, who has never returned to his country of birth. “But there isn’t any birth certificate there, either.”… Read the rest Here…
The New Jim Crow’s favorite weapon is minority voter suppression…Just like the Old Jim Crow.
While the Old Civil Rights Movement was about Jim Crow in the North…The New Civil Rights Movement is about Civil Rights anywhere.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said his state’s strict new voter-ID requirement worked “just fine” in the April 5 primary, but thousands of Wisconsinites were unable to cast a ballot because of the new law. One of them was Eddie Lee Holloway Jr.
Holloway, a 58-year-old African-American man, moved from Illinois to Wisconsin in 2008 and voted without problems, until Wisconsin passed its voter-ID law in 2011. “I never miss voting,” he said. He brought his expired Illinois photo ID, birth certificate, and Social Security card to get a photo ID for voting, but the DMV in Milwaukee rejected his application because the name on his birth certificate read “Eddie Junior Holloway,” the result of a clerical error when it was issued.
Holloway, who worked as a cook in Illinois but is now unemployed and disabled, living with his family in Milwaukee, got a ride downtown to the Vital Records System to try to fix his birth certificate. Vital Records said it would cost between $400 and $600, which Holloway could not afford.
He then called the Illinois Vital Records Division, who said he had to personally come to Springfield, the state capital, to amend his birth certificate. So Holloway bought a $180 round-trip bus ticket and traveled four hours back to his home state. Once in Springfield, the division said it needed a copy of his high-school and vaccination records. Holloway went to his hometown of Decatur to get his school records, paying $20 to his friend for gas money, but after returning to Springfield, Vital Records said it needed his full Social Security statement, which he didn’t have. He also visited the Illinois DMV, but had no luck there either. He left Illinois without getting the documents he needed to vote in Wisconsin.
Back in Milwaukee, Holloway got two copies of his Social Security statement and asked Illinois Vital Records if he could e-mail or fax them over. They said he’d have to appear in person again. But Holloway didn’t have the money to make another trip to Illinois and gave up trying to get a voter ID. He’d spent $200, visited two states, and made seven trips to different public institutions, but still couldn’t vote in Wisconsin. (This story is based on Holloway’s testimony in a 2013 federal district court trial challenging Wisconsin’s voter-ID law.)
Two days after Wisconsin’s primary, the ACLU once again challenged the state’s voter-ID law in court, arguing that those like Holloway who faced great difficulty getting a photo ID should still be able to vote. Yesterday the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which upheld the voter ID law in 2014, ruled that District Court Judge Lynn Adelman (who initially struck down the law) shouldreexamine the case to provide relief for voters with an “inability to obtain a qualifying photo ID with reasonable effort.” The ACLU estimates that thousands of Wisconsinites fall into that category.
“The right to vote is personal and is not defeated by the fact that 99% of other people can secure the necessary credentials easily,” wrote Judge Frank Easterbrook. (Three hundred thousand registered voters in Wisconsin lack a government-issued photo ID, and many have faced great difficulty obtaining one, as I’ve documented.)
Seems BTx3 isn’t the only one who sees Scalia’s death as one of the two best things that could have happened to the Supreme Court.
Sill waiting on the second…Any moment now would be fine.
Tahir Duckett, a student at Georgetown University Law Center, was 2 years old when Antonin Scalia was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1986.
Naji Mujahid, who attends the University of the District of Columbia’s law school, was 4. Dominique Moore, a student at Temple University’s law school, and Stephanie Llanes, a law student at the University of California at Berkeley, had not yet been born.
Now, Scalia is gone, dying unexpectedly during a vacation last week. And for the first time in the students’ lives — three of whom are African American and one a Latina — there is a possibility of having a Supreme Court that is no longer dominated by right-wing ideologues who are astoundingly naive about racism in America.
“We mourn the death of Justice Scalia, as a fellow attorney,” said Moore, 29, the Mid-Atlantic regional chair of the National Black Law Students Association. “But we are looking for someone to fill that seat who is not a foe of civil rights and wants to see the country make progress, not take it backward.”
Next month, the 3,600-member national organization convenes in Baltimore for its annual convention. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch is scheduled to deliver the keynote address.
“We support Loretta Lynch’s appointment as the next Supreme Court justice,” Moore said.
For his part, Georgetown’s Duckett, 32, has been chronicling the harms done by the Supreme Court’s 2001 ruling in Sandoval v. Alexander. The court held that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits only “intentional discrimination” and does not prohibit activities that have a “disparate impact on certain races, colors, or nationalities.” Scalia wrote the opinion for the conservative majority, which included Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.
“That ruling made it impossible to mount a legal challenge to structural racism and sent a message that it was okay to discriminate against blacks and Hispanics as long as you did it with a wink and a nod,” said Duckett, a member of the D.C. chapter of the legal and policy collective known as Law for Black Lives. “For more than a decade and a half, we’ve watched racial disparities widen in incarceration, in the use of the death penalty, in racial profiling, in the enforcement of drug laws, and it was legally okay just because nobody had come right out and said they were doing it intentionally.”
UDC’s Mujahid, 34, said he began studying Scalia’s thinking in 2009, while following the case of Troy Davis, a black man who had been convicted of murder in Georgia and sentenced to death. When seven of the nine witnesses recanted their testimony against him, Davis appealed to the Supreme Court for a new hearing and got it. But Scalia objected, writing in his dissent that “this court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.”
Scalia’s statement was said to be legally correct but widely regarded as morally weak. Davis was executed two years later.
“When you go into Scalia’s thinking as an ‘originalist,’ meaning someone who interprets the Constitution by divining the intent of the Framers at the time they wrote it, you can see Scalia virtually channeling 18th-century social and political sentiment on race,” said Mujahid, president of the UDC chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. “If you want to go back 200 years and commune with the spirit of slave owners and ask them, ‘What do you think of black people?’ Or, ‘How do you feel about affirmative action?’ what the hell do you think they’re going to say?”
In the wake of Scalia’s death, SCOTUS blog legal expert Lyle Denniston described the 79-year-old Reagan appointee “as path-breaking as Earl Warren” and “as controversial as Roger Taney,” among other things.
But his mentioning Chief Justices Warren and Taney cries out for comparison.
The Warren Court expanded civil rights, most famously in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case that banned racial segregation in public schools. The Taney Court, on the other hand, ruled infamously in the 1857 Dred Scott case that no black person, whether slave or free, would ever become a citizen.
And given Scalia’s originalist approach to the law, some legal scholars have suggested that he would probably have reached conclusions more like Taney’s than Warren’s.
Wherever Republicans have a majority in state legislatures, they have decided to implement New Jim Crow Voting laws to prevent minorities from voting. In some states like Texas and Alabama, this has including closing State DMV offices in minority areas to make it even more difficult to get “Voter ID”. The Old Jim Crow – Poll Tax…The New Jim Crow …Voter ID…
On Monday, residents of North Carolina are taking the state to court, arguing that North Carolina legislators designed a new voter ID law to stifle growing minority turnout that threatened the Republican majority in Raleigh.
The state is claiming that the law was passed to prevent voter fraud, though there is no evidence of widespread fraud at the ballot box. Attorney Denise Lieberman with the Advancement Project, which is representing the North Carolina NAACP in this case, told ThinkProgress that the state lawmakers who debated and passed the ID law knew it would place a disproportionate burden on African American and Latino voters.
“This is illuminated by the fact that there’s no legitimate basis for having this law,” she said. “We have expert witnesses who will testify that the state’s rationale for the law is unsupported, that there is absolutely no evidence of in-person voter impersonation that would justify this law. Furthermore, these laws don’t advance or expand people’s confidence in the voting process, as the state is arguing. They actually reduce it. So the conclusion we must draw is that lawmakers knew what they were doing.”
Lieberman and her colleagues plan to argue that this 2013 law was in part a backlash against the“increased political power” of voters of color in the state. Over the past few decades, both the number of residents of color and the percentage of them who showed up to vote have increased exponentially, thanks in large part to a series of laws making it easier to vote.
“To remedy past suppression of voters of color, the state implemented same-day registration, out of precinct voting, the pre-registration of 17-year-olds, and an extra week of early voting,” Lieberman told ThinkProgress. “These are the very measures the legislature sought to repeal — the ones most important for opening the doors of access.”
That access and increased turnout, the NAACP argues, threatened the Republican majority in the state legislature, since residents of color generally vote for Democrats. The legislators had an “interest in burdening those voters,” their brief states, due to this “racially polarized voting pattern.”
The NAACP is also arguing that the legislature intentionally waited until the Supreme Court struck down key protections in the Voting Rights Act before going forward with the ID law and other provisions. Before that controversial ruling, North Carolina was one of several states with a history of race-based voter suppression that had to ask for federal pre-clearance before changing any of its voting laws.
“The lawmakers sat on this bill, waiting until the Shelby ruling came down, then passed this monster legislation,” Lieberman said.
The NAACP’s legal brief goes on to say that while lawmakers were debating the ID provision, they specifically requested and received data indicating that it would disproportionately burden voters of color, who are twice as likely as white residents to lack an official form of identification. The state proceeded to pass the bill “despite these warning signs.”
Though the legislators rushed to tweak the voter ID law just as civil rights groups were preparing to file a lawsuit, a court ruled that the case could still go forward. Under the version currently on the books, residents who don’t have one of the proper forms of ID can still cast a provisional ballot, but only if they fill out a form explaining why they faced a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining an ID.
Lieberman explained that to qualify for an exemption, voters who don’t have an ID have to stand in a separate line and write down their explanation under penalty of perjury. If their reason is accepted, they will be given a provisional ballot, which won’t be counted until after Election Day, and could be thrown out entirely if the county Board of Elections rejects their explanation. “All of this could intimidate or humiliate voters, especially those who have limited reading skills or English skills, and deter them from trying to vote,” she said….Read More Here…
Not really surprised about the stats on how minority children are expelled at rates from 3-15 times greater than white kids. That seems par for the course depending on educational district and mindset. And with School “Resource” Officers arresting black and Hispanic kids at double digit rates higher than white kids – that follows pretty much with the police criminalization of minority youth.
What is interesting is within the minority groups – Who is expelled. It hearkens back to the Jim Crow days.
Guess who gets expelled…
It’s shocking to watch a black student violently arrested in school. What is more shocking is how common it is.
…Since 1995, juvenile incarceration has dropped by more than 40 percent. In the same time frame, however, out-of-school suspensions have increased 10 percent, doubling the total from 1970. As reporters Dara Lind and Libby Nelson explain for Vox, this stems from several trends.
The crime waves of the 1980s and early 1990s sparked deep concern in schools across the country. In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the Gun-Free Schools Act, which mandated specific penalties for carrying weapons in schools. Zero tolerance was national policy, and school districts devised their own codes meant to stop minor incidents before they blossomed into major ones, a public school analogue to the “broken windows” policies in places like New York City. What’s more, crime fears—as well as the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado—led to more police officers in schools as well: The number of “school resource officers” increased 38 percent to more than 13,000 in 2007, up from 9,446 in 1997…
In public school districts around the country, arrests have increased with the presence of school resource officers, even as juvenile crime rates have decreased. Even adjusting for poverty—which tends to correlate with safety—the total arrest rate in schools with officers was almost three times the rate for schools without them. “About 92,000 students were arrested in school during the 2011–2012 school year,” notes Vox. “And most of those were low-level violations.”
As is often true, from the war on drugs to mass incarceration, the brunt of this punitive policy falls hardest on black and Latino Americans. From 1972 to 2010, the school suspension rate for whites in middle and high school climbed from 6 percent to 7.1 percent. For Latinos it climbed from 6.1 to 12 percent. For blacks it more than doubled from 11.8 percent to 24.3 percent…
In 2007, 70 percent of in-school arrests were of black and Latino students. Overall,according to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than white students, 16 percent versus 5 percent. This is true for all ages: “Black children,” notes the DOE, “represent 18 percent of preschool enrollment, but 48 percent of preschool children receiving more than one out-of-school suspension.” White students, by contrast, “represent 43 percent of preschool enrollment but 26 percent of preschool children receiving more than one out-of-school suspension.” Students of color with disabilities are also more likely to be restrained or suspended: Black students constitute 21 percent of all students with disabilities, but 44 percent of those subject to mechanical restraints.
In some states, suspension rates are almost unbelievable. In the 2011–2012 school year, Missouri suspended 14.4 percent of its black elementary students, compared with just 1.8 percent of its white students. Florida suspended 5.1 percent of its elementary students and 19 percent of its middle and high school students. And Wisconsin suspended a mind-blowing 34 percent of all enrolled black students in a single year.
It should be said that, echoing the incident at Spring Valley High School, black girls—and dark-skinned black girls in particular—are disproportionately punished in schools. “Black girls in public elementary and secondary schools nationwide were suspended at a rate of 12 percent, compared with a rate of just 2 percent for white girls, and more than girls of any other race or ethnicity,” writes the New York Times, adding that “black girls with the darkest skin tones were three times more likely to be suspended than black girls with the lightest skin.”
You might look at this and wonder if it’s behavior. Do black and Latino students act worse than white ones? Do black girls behave worse than white ones? The answer is no. “Despite higher rates of school suspensions for black, latino, and Native American students, there appear to be few racial differences in the offenses most likely to lead to zero tolerance policy violations,” write researchers at Indiana University. Instead, these students are referred for less serious and more subjective offenses.
In general, notes the Kirwan Institute at Ohio State University, “Research suggests that when given an opportunity to choose among several disciplinary options for a relatively minor offense, teachers and school administrators often choose more severe punishment for black students than for white students for the same offense.” In fact, according to one study of Texas schools, 97 percent of suspensions were the choice of administrators, as only 3 percent of students had broken rules that required such punishment. But the weight of those discretionary suspensions fell on black students—they were 31 percent more likely to be suspended, even controlling for a host of other variables.
At all ages, black students are perceived as more dangerous and unruly. And to that point, at least one analysis shows that teachers hold lower expectations of black and Latino children compared with their white peers. When mixed with zero-tolerance discipline and school police officers, you have a recipe for wide disparities in treatment. A 2011 study of North Carolina schools from the National Education Policy Center found that 32 percent of black students were suspended for first-time offense of cellphone use at school, compared with just 15 percent of white students. For a first-time offense of public display of affection, almost 43 percent of accused black students were suspended, compared with about 15 percent of white students…Read the whole article here…
Below is a map of “Economic Opportunity” broken into the MSAs in each state. Economic Opportunity is the measure of how likely it is for someone born in the lowest income and social class to be able to rise. Or to put it another way – the lower the Economic Opportunity, greater the chance that a poor person’s child will also be poor, and their children and their children.
Notice that isolated red spot right around ST. Louis, Mo – and including Ferguson?
Which areas have the highest populations on welfare and disability?
Just for fun, let’s look at the states with or without minimum wage laws…
Tell you Something?
Political Corruption Level in States – (Provided by London School of Economics)
State Incarceration Rates –
Which gets us the The New Jim Crow – Virtual Debtors Prisons and Bail Bond Extortion
Like the majority of the nearly 750,000 people stuck in local jails across the United States, Rebecca Snow was not held in the Ascension Parish jail in central Louisiana because she had been convicted of a crime. The 33-year-old mother of three, who was charged with two nonviolent misdemeanors in late August, simply could not afford to post bail.
If Snow had the $289 set for each charge, she could have gone home to her family instead of sitting in jail. Many others arrested in the parish are able to post bail and go home, but Snow didn’t have the extra cash: She relies on public assistance and is indigent, according to a civil rights complaint filed against the parish’s sheriff and top judge.
The US Supreme Court and the Justice Department have both said that incarcerating someone solely because they can’t afford to post cash bail is unconstitutional, but that was the policy in Ascension Parish until just a few weeks ago.
Ascension sheriff deputies would set bail during booking using a court-issued “schedule” that matched the alleged offense with a generic bail amount, and some arrestees waited days before seeing a judge who could hear a motion to reduce it, according to the complaint. No individual factors such as prior record or employment were considered, and even those arrested for minor crimes like traffic violations were not released without posting bail.
In early September, civil rights attorneys filed a class-action lawsuit challenging the bail scheme, with Snow as the lead plaintiff. A settlement was reached within weeks. Now those arrested for misdemeanors in Ascension Parish are released on their own recognizance unless they are charged with assault, drunk driving or a list of other crimes that generally involve putting other people in danger. A judge must promptly set an individualized bail for those who are jailed.
“[The defendants] don’t really have any arguments,” said Alec Karakatsanis, a cofounder of Equal Justice Under Law, which worked with civil rights lawyers from southern Louisiana to challenge Ascension’s bail policy. “It’s a terrible policy in addition to being illegal. It’s expensive and it ruins people’s lives and it devastates them.”
Nationally, jails have twice the admission rate of state and federal prisons, and 62 percent of those locked up have not been convicted of any crime and are legally presumed innocent, according to the Vera Institute of Justice. Three out of four people in jail are being held on nonviolent traffic, drug, property or public order charges. In most jurisdictions, poor people facing minor charges are forced to stay in jail or plead guilty to get out while those who have money on hand often go free.
Using the Constitution to Force Local Reforms
Since January, Karakatsanis and local partners have filed lawsuits challenging secured money bail programs in seven cities across the South, and so far defendants in six cities quickly settled and agreed to end the practice of requiring bail for nonviolent misdemeanors. The first lawsuit, filed against the City of Clanton, Alabama, attracted a statement of interest from the Justice Department declaring that jailing people solely because of their poverty violates the US Constitution’s equal protection clause and is simply “bad public policy.”
Suing individual officials and jurisdictions has proved to be an effective tactic for civil rights advocates who argue that many of the nation’s 3,000 jails have become modern-day debtors’ prisons. Attorneys like Karakatsanis are going from county to county to shut down illegal secured money bail and court fine collection schemesthat fill courthouse coffers and keep private collection companies and bail bondsmen in business while poor defendants, who often cannot afford child care or to miss even a day of work, are caged without being convicted.
“We are going from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and asking them to change, and if they don’t, we certainly sue them,” Karakatsanis told Truthout. He added that his group would be filing more lawsuits across the country.
By definition, bail is not a fine or a form of punishment. The purpose of bail is, in theory, to ensure that arrestees show up to court. If you are jailed and a bail is set, you may wait there for weeks, months or even years for your trial to start – or you can post bail, which will be refunded when you appear before a judge. In some parts of the country, if you don’t have the money, you can hire a bail bonds agent to post bail for a fee, usually at 10 percent of the bail amount. You don’t get that money back even if you are found not guilty. (In the few states that have outlawed for-profit bail bond agents, a secured bond may sometimes be paid at 10 percent of the set amount as well.)
Money bail tips the scales of justice in favor of those who have cash on hand. For arrestees who can’t afford to put money down on their own freedom, jail makes it much more difficult to escape the deep maze of the criminal legal system. The Vera Institute reports that even spending as few as two days in jail can reduce economic viability, promote future criminal behavior, degrade personal health and increase the chance that a defendant is incarcerated if found guilty.
Pretrial incarceration also increases the likelihood that people will take a plea deal, and some people plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit just to go home and avoid losing their jobs and contact with friends and family. That’s one reason why activists in Massachusetts, New York City and Chicago have organized community bail funds to free low-income people from jail. Since bail money is generally returned once defendants appear in court, these grassroots bail funds can extend the benefits of a recyclable resource to many people who would otherwise be left to defend themselves from a position of incarceration….Read the Rest Here…
Still wonder why it is so hard to get that Economic Opportunity in some places?
Slavery in America never really went entirely away. And while most of the news about slavery here, and the majority of cases involving human trafficking are in the sex trade – it is growing in other areas. Something on the order of 65-150,000 people are held in modern slavery in the US.
Traffickers have become so adept at exploiting their victims in broad daylight that you may have purchased an item from their menu of goods from the comfort of your own home.
“Knocking at Your Door,” a new report released by nonprofit Polaris, details how little oversight there is in the door-to-door sales industry, which makes it a ripe environment for traffickers to lure in vulnerable victims. Between 2008 and this year, 419 reports of possible human trafficking cases involving traveling sales crews were made to two organizations that support this specific demographic.
That’s more than any other industry except domestic work.
While advertisements typically indicate that workers must be at least 18 years old, children are hardly spared from this industry.
A decade ago, the Child Labor Coalition estimated that more than 50,000 children were forced to work for groups that sell magazines, the Atlantic reported earlier this year. But Reid Maki, CLC coordinator, believes that number hasn’t budged much since.
“It’s become this little world of people operating in the shadows, and they’ve become very good at working the system,” Maki told the news outlet. “There are so many areas of magazine crews operating just outside the law that seem unconnected, but they’re not. They keep one step ahead of the authorities.”
But those figures likely belie the full picture considering that victims are often too fearful to come forward and report their traffickers.
The traveling sales industry is particularly appealing to traffickers because the crews rarely stay in one place for long and itinerant sales workers are considered independent contractors. That means they’re exempt from federal and state minimum wage requirements, overtime and other employment protections, according to the report.
And when businesses are flagged for questionable practices, they can change their name and register in another state with ease.
The bulk of such cases involve magazines sales, specifically.
Of the 357 cases that were reported to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, 64 percent referenced magazine sales.
Many publishers aren’t even aware that such rings exist, and often don’t have the resources to monitor all of their selling agents.
The corrupt selling agents have developed a layered system that hooks vulnerable people and traps them with threats, force and manipulation…more…
This is he result of searching high and low for the last 10 years for incidences of Voter Fraud…
And finding nothing but Republican racism.
A new nationwide analysis of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases since 2000 shows that while fraud has occurred, the rate is infinitesimal, and in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tough voter ID laws, is virtually non-existent.
In an exhaustive public records search, reporters from the investigative reporting projecdt News21 sent thousands of requests to elections officers in all 50 states, asking for every case of fraudulent activity including registration fraud, absentee ballot fraud, vote buying, false election counts, campaign fraud, casting an ineligible vote, voting twice, voter impersonation fraud and intimidation.
Analysis of the resulting comprehensive News21 election fraud database turned up 10 cases of voter impersonation. With 146 million registered voters in the United States during that time, those 10 cases represent one out of about every 15 million prospective voters.
“Voter fraud at the polls is an insignificant aspect of American elections,” said elections expert David Schultz, professor of public policy at Hamline University School of Business in St. Paul, Minn.
“There is absolutely no evidence,” Schultz said, that voter impersonation fraud “has affected the outcome of any election in the United States, at least any recent election in the United States.”
The News21 analysis of its election fraud database shows:
For a look at that database – go here
These are the same yo-yo’s who under the Bushshit…
Spent 8 years after invading the Department of Justice Civil rights Division, trying to find cases of “reverse discrimination, ignoring the over 12,000 complaints of real discrimination by black folks, Hispanics, and other groups – to find exactly one (1) case of provable discrimination by a minority against white folks in 8 years…
Fought tooth and nail to pass Voter ID Laws in states like Pennsylvania disenfranchising largely black and poor minority voters – despite there only have ever been 2 cases of individual Voter Fraud in Pennsylvania in the past 30 years…
And, are convinced that the presence of two unarmed black men wearing berets on the street by a polling place in Pennsylvania traumatized millions of white voters nationwide into voting for and electing a black man for President.
Racism will indeed …
Make you stupid – and stupidity will make you a conservative.
Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.
Martin Luther King Jr.
An interesting view from Author Robert D. Putnam on inequalities in American society and the economy. Putnam believes that racism isn’t the major impediment to economic mobility in the country anymore – class is. And as far as that goes he may be correct. However, in weighing whether racism is an issue – a lot depends on just what you define as “racism”. The conservative view of that is “we aren’t hanging you from trees and burning down your homes anymore – so there is no racism”. Of course to anyone else with an IQ above freezing water – racism is a lot more nuanced that just physical acts of depravity. I mean – just because you aren’t shooting me – doesn’t mean you aren’t trying to kill me with a knife.
Robert D. Putnam, author of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, issued a strong warning to anti-poverty advocates at a forum on social connectedness at the Aspen Ideas Festival Saturday, urging the audience to get beyond talking about poverty and race and start thinking about social mobility and class instead.
“Those two conceptual moves, framing it as poverty and thinking about it as a matter of race, have a very deep history… and I think both politically and analytically that’s an almost fatally flawed framework,” said Putnam, the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, in response to remarks from co-panelists Anne Mosle, vice president of policy at the Aspen Institute, and Mario Small, chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago.
“You say poverty to most ordinary Americans, most ordinary voters, they think black ghettos,” he continued, whereas over the last couple of generations “class, not race is the dominant — and becoming more dominant — dimension of difficulty here.”
“Relatively speaking, racial differences controlling for class are decreasing while class differences controlling for race are increasing in America,” he said. “Non-white folks with a college education are looking more and more like white folks with a college education and white folks who haven’t gotten beyond high school are looking more and more like nonwhite folks who haven’t finished high school.” Read the rest of this entry »
One of the problems with Charter Schools such as those recently implemented in Louisiana – is that they short circuit all of the existing Civil Rights laws. Particularly in Lousisana the changeover to supposedly “private” schools enables religious discrimination.
Nashville school officials have rejected a proposal to open a charter school in a middle-class part of the city, highlighting a broader national battle over efforts by operators of such publicly financed, privately run schools to expand into more affluent areas.
The Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools board voted 7-2 Tuesday night to reject an application by Great Hearts Academies, a nonprofit that operates prep-school-like charter schools, for five new establishments.
The Arizona-based group planned to open its first Tennessee school in a middle- to upper-middle class area in west Nashville, after being invited by parents who either were unhappy with local public schools or said they favored choice in education.
The board denied the application because members worried that low-income parents wouldn’t be able to easily transport their children across town to a school on the west side, meaning the plan could effectively cause “segregated schools,” said Olivia Brown, spokeswoman for the district.
“Rather than enhance diversity in the district, this would send us in the opposite direction,” said Edward Kindall, one of the board members who voted against the plan. “I went to segregated schools and this gets us dangerously close to separate but unequal.”
The school board also approved, by votes of 9-0 and 8-1, two other charter schools Tuesday, both of which will cater mainly to low-income students. Mr. Kindall backed both schools.
Dan Scoggin, chief executive of Great Hearts Academies, said the school would have been open to all students, and that his organization planned to build other schools elsewhere in the city. Read the rest of this entry »
I have noticed for some time now, the disconnect between polling done by Gallup on the national level and that done by organizations doing polling in the states. Gallup seems to represent polling results that are 2-3 points lower than you would expect judging by the state data. At worst, Gallup often agrees with Rasmussen – which isn’t really in the business of polling, and operates as an arm of the Republican Party. Pew, and some of the other polling organizations seem to come up with numbers consistently higher for Obama that Gallup.
Unlike Rasmussen – there is no reason to believe that Gallup is tweaking the poll numbers. Gallup is the most established and highly respected pollster out there. So why the difference?
The difference appears to be race. And no – Gallup isn’t racist. Nor is there any evidence that they intentionally skew their numbers. That is not what is being said here. It has to do with how they assemble their samples. With 90% of black voters supporting Obama, and under-participation of black folks in the polling has almost a 1-1 correlation with the results. That is, if the statistical sample doesn’t match the racial makeup of the population, then the result skews 1 point for each point of over, or under – representation of black, and Hispanic voters. Gallup’s current polling methodology under-counts Minority voters.
The following is a really good article on how Gallup does its polling, and how their choices of how to do sampling impacts their data.
With the race for president between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama now shifting into high gear, politicians, journalists and the general public are scrutinizing each new poll, with every small swing in one direction or another elevated to outsized importance.
Among the many polls released every day, one always stands out. The Gallup Poll is arguably the most trusted survey brand in the world, a name virtually synonymouswith public opinion polling. It has measured presidential job approval and vote preference without interruption since the 1940s and now conducts a daily tracking poll that reaches more than 3,600 adults every week — a volume of data that dwarfs that produced by other firms. As a result, Gallup’s numbers enjoy unique influence and public prominence.
Over the past few years, however, polling junkies have noticed something curious: Gallup’s polls have produced results that appear slightly but consistently more negative to President Obama than those produced by other firms.
The Huffington Post has conducted an independent analysis that confirms the phenomenon and points to a likely explanation. The problem lies in the way that Gallup handles the racial composition of its samples, and the findings highlight significant issues with how polls are developed and conducted today.
The dirty little secret of telephone surveys now conducted by most media outlets is that their unweighted samples alone cannot provide reliable estimates of population demographics like race and Hispanic ancestry. A dramatic fall in response rates has led to what pollsters call “non-response bias” in their raw data. Partly because survey response rates are typically lowest in urban areas, unweighted samples routinely under-represent black and Hispanic Americans.
As a Pew Research Center study recently demonstrated, random-sample surveys continue to provide accurate data on most measures — but only when their samples of telephone numbers include both landline and mobile phones, and only when the completed interviews are weighted to match the demographic composition of the population. That means the weighting procedures that pollsters use are critical to producing accurate results.
The need to weight accurately by race and ancestry is particularly significant when it comes to evaluating the contest between Obama and Romney. As Gallup itself reported in early May, Romney led Obama among non-Hispanic white voters by 54 to 37 percent, while the president had the support of more than three-quarters of non-white registered voters (77 percent). Obama’s support among African Americans on Gallup’s tracking poll stood at 90 percent.
That gap makes the way pollsters account for race hugely important. When pollsters weight their samples to match population demographics, every percentage point increase in black representation translates into a nearly one-point improvement in Obama’s margin against Romney. The difference of just a few percentage points in the non-white composition of a poll can produce a significant skew in its horse race results… (Read the rest of this article here)
The common depiction of Justice with a blindfold wasn’t meant as a cover for willful blindness to innocence. To date, 873 people convicted of crimes in our “Justice” system, and in at least one provable case executed have been exonerated. They just didn’t do the crime they were convicted of doing. Some interesting statistics about that –
The University of the Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law have partnered to launch a National Registry of Exonerations that keeps an up to date list of all known exonerations in the United States since 1989. The group’s inaugural report released this week reveals 50 percent of false convictions are of black defendants.
The National Registry of Exoneration documents include 891 exonerations with summaries of the cases and searchable data on each. Their latest report focuses on the 873 exonerations that were entered in the Registry as of March 1, 2012.
Below are key findings from the Center’s study of the 873 exonerated defendants as printed in the report:
- 93% are men, 7% women;
- 50% are black, 38% white, 11% Hispanic and 2% Native American or Asian;
- 37% were exonerated with the help of DNA evidence; 63% without DNA; as a group, they spent more than 10,000 years in prison – an average of more than 11 years each.
- Since 2000, exonerations have averaged 52 a year – one a week – 40% of which include DNA evidence.
- The 873 exonerations are mostly rape and murder cases, but the data also include
many more exonerations for other crimes than previously known.
For all exonerations, the most common causal factors that contributed to the underlying false convictions are perjury or false accusation (51%), mistaken eyewitness identification (43%) and official misconduct (42%) – followed by false or misleading forensic evidence (24%) and false confession (16%).
Of course, 873 is only a small portion of the convictions for crime we see in any year – much less over 30 years. And the fact that 50% of the folks who were exonerated in a system where 50% of the convicted are black, doesn’t necessarily prove racial bias when considered on its own. The vast majority of criminal convictions in the US are for minor drug offenses with major incarceration times. Those are not disprovable by DNA.
What it does mean is, considering the shoestring budget of groups seeking Justice meaning that only the most egregious cases of injustice are pursued, and the fact that States throw the legal kitchen sink at the legal teams seeking exoneration in order to avoid the exoneration and likely cost of a lawsuit for wrongful conviction… The number of wrongful convictions is probably much, much, much higher.
The present blooming fantasy of white victimization has roots in the peculiar violent institutions of the 19th-century American South. In the distant mirror of history, it’s easy to spot the irony and the guilt: even before the Civil War began, whites worried that their slaves would rise up and repay their masters in kind — filch the fruit of their labor, rape them, and beat them, sometimes to death. As soon as the balance of power shifted and news of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse circulated throughout the former slave states, those fears ran amok.
A common recruiting method of white supremacist groups is to play on their potential member’s percieved “victimization” by minorities. Ergo – that they are failures in life because black/brown/yellow/green folks were “given” jobs or opportunity over them because of race. As I have said before the conservative side of the American political spectrum has absorbed a lot of ideas from the racist right, and mainstreamed them into conservative mantra and consciousness.
The narrative is pretty much laid out in the video below –
One of the most flagrant results of this was the perversion of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division under the Bushit Administration as a vehicle to track down and prosecute incidences of “reverse discrimination. That is, discrimination against whites by minorities. The problem being that after 8 years and spending hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money…
Only one verifiable case was ever found by said lawyers. This despite over 13,000 cases of classical discrimination being filed a year by minorities.
Reality and logic play no part in this from a group of folks who believe the presence of two, self styled “Black Panthers” at a Pennsylvania polling place during the 2008 Presidential Election was enough to sway voters across the country to vote for a black man – and that such constituted a “massive” level of voting fraud…
Despite consistent and massive efforts by Republicans in 2000 and 2004 for limit minority voting though denying the availability of voting machines, and “erasing” large number of minority voters from the rolls in Florida based on “faulty” data.
The right wing’s “racial services machine” though the “7 Sisters”, a group of right wing foundations which pour hundreds of millions of dollars a year into conservative think tanks and causes – supports this sort of racial narrative to the tune of an estimated $100 million a year. These groups have funded the publication of books by folks such as Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray “The Bell Curve”, Sowell’s contributions to Townhall, WorldNetDaily,OneNewsNow and the Jewish World Review, Dinesh D’Souza whose book “The End of Racism“ oddly enough inadvertently makes the case for racism’s continued existence, and Jared Taylor’s “The Color of Crime” using faulty logic and fake statistics to make the case for black on white crime. Fox News advances these narratives though such commentators as Sean Hannity, and as of late Bill O’Reilly.
Black conservatives are well funded to support the narrative that whites are under attack by “Speakers Bureaus” such as Project 21, and trusty, safe black conservatives like Sowell, whose recent article fully supported the existence of a “war” by black folks against white folks based on anecdotal evidence…
The problem being, just like the “New Black Panther Party” (having nothing to do with the original Black Panthers and consisting of perhaps 50 members nationwide) controversy, and the “Reverse Discrimination Controversy” – there is no statistical evidence to support that in any way that whites are being targeted by roving gangs of black or brown folks attacking white folks in any numbers beyond random.
Conversely – spending $100 million a year in investing in racist narratives…
Totally deconstructs the idea that racism is no longer a factor in American life.
The “white victimization” industry promoted by right wing media, and their well paid quasi scientific cohorts has very real consequences.
These cases are similar to the hue and cry raised over the “Central Park Jogger” case in the 90’s – where gangs of black youth, supposedly “wilding” were convicted of the brutal beating and rape of a woman jogging in Central Park. The tragedy of the victim was compounded by the fact that the courts convicted 5 innocent kids of the crime, adding additional victims to the carnage – who had been convicted largely due to the media hype, and assumption of guilt by the media and police who beat “confessions” out of the youths…
And of course, most recently the Trayvon Martin murder.
It was near midnight on April 14 when the Chevy Cavalier carrying Dave Forster and Marjon Rostami rolled to a stop at a red light in Norfolk, Va. As the pair waited, one of a crowd of teenagers on the sidewalk threw a rock at the passenger seat window, prompting Forster to get out of the car and confront the aggressor.
That’s when the beating began. Read the rest of this entry »